San José Airport unveils public art installation

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San José Mineta International Airport (SJC) in California and the city’s Office of Economic Development and Cultural Affairs’ Public Art Program have unveiled their latest public art installation, titled XO, near the entrance of Terminal B.

Easily accessible at the terminal curbside, XO has been designed to draw travelers’ attention with the opportunity for an iconic photo to mark the start or end of their journey in San José. The sculpture, created by Bay Area artists Laura Kimpton and Jeff Schomberg, is composed of 3.6m aluminum letters perforated with bird cutouts. The birds are visual symbols of flight and safe air travel. Together, the display’s letters X and O stand as a contemporary expression representing a hug and a kiss – a lighthearted way of sharing affection, sincerity and friendship. At night, the sculpture is illuminated internally with changing colors. Free portraits by professional photographer Dave Lepori were taken and printed at the unveiling.

San José’s mayor, Matt Mahan, said, “First impressions matter and San José Mineta International Airport is the entry point that sets the tone for our entire city. I can’t think of a better way to bid our residents farewell and welcome our visitors to the capital of Silicon Valley than with this heartfelt message.”

John Aitken, airport director at SJC, said, “Today’s dedication exemplifies the airport’s commitment to supporting our local culture and uplifting the talents of Bay Area artists. It is the perfect message and sentiment from the airport to our beloved community and each person who visits SJC.”

Kerry Adams Hapner, director of cultural affairs at SJC, said, “XO is the latest addition to the world-class collection of iconic public art at SJC. It is the city’s gift of affection and care for its residents and visitors. It is beautiful by day and night with its dynamic spectrum of illuminated colors. It is a wonderful complement to the other welcoming artwork at the airport, like Hands.”

Artists Kimpton and Schomberg said, “We offer this sculpture as a love letter to the San José community. As people travel through the airport, we hope they take the time to pose with XO and memorialize their journey with a photograph.”

For more key display and signage updates from the passenger terminal industry, click here.

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